by Katie Poggio / JDSA Intern
Everyone knows what a 5k is, but have you heard about the “Happiest 5k on the Planet?” That would be The Color Run! A unique 5k that’s all about promoting health, happiness, and individuality – and having fun while doing it!
Runners leave the starting gate clean in white. Only to cross the finish line with splattered rainbows. The Color Run left a colorful mark in the hearts of nearly 8,000 Orlando locals this past weekend, as well as in the streets…especially with JDSA throwing paint from the sidelines!
As my volunteer shift began, I could feel positivity in the air radiating from the arriving runners and other volunteers. The last bit of morning darkness faded over Central Florida, as people of all ages assembled together on a nearby soccer field to stretch, warm up, and wake up with the earth. The sun was rising, and so were the spirits of everyone around.
The Color Runners warmed up and readied themselves to get colorful! Proceeding towards the starting line…everyone eager to start the most colorful 5k they have ever experienced.
Being part of the run allowed me to see, first-hand, health, happiness, individuality, and lots of messiness! I’ve never seen more people covered in paint with such big, bright smiles on their faces. Several runners were completing their first 5k ever! And afterwards, were inspired to reach more health improvement goals – parents teaching their children that living fit and healthy lifestyles can be fun and rewarding.
Happiness was everywhere…especially after the race. As soon as the runners crossed the finish line they were greeted by friends, family, and fellow color runners to enjoy the best part of this extraordinary 5k: The Finish Festival. Color Bombs exploded in the air, with individuality being expressed through everyone’s unique attire; Tutu’s, colorful high socks, balloons, wigs, handmade hats and masks. You name it…a color runner had it on!
Running a 5K to raise money for local charities definitely calls for a celebration! But it didn’t stop there. The Color Run and their partner, Global Citizen, not only brings positive impact to the communities they visit, they’re on a mission to end poverty. This year, The Color Run’s trip to Orlando helped raised donations for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. A private, nonprofit that distributes donated food to over 500 nonprofit partner agencies in 6 Central Florida counties.
The Color Run was an incomparable experience that left me in high spirits. Everyone should have the opportunity to experience such an uplifting event. Think a Color Run might be for you? Visit their website and nominate your town for a Color Run visit!
Oh, and make sure you wear clothes that, well…you don’t mind getting just a little bit messy.